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The Situation of the Roma in the Czech Republic after November 1989

The Situation of the Roma, 1989 - 1992

The newly-won freedom after the November revolution also changed the position of the Romani minority. The Roma acquired in Czechoslovakia for the first time the status of a national minority, which came along with the specific rights of members of national minorities:

the right to be educated in their mother tongue,

the right to preserve their own culture,

the right to distribute and receive information ain their mother tongue,

the right to use their mother tongue in official contacts,

the right to associate on national principle, and

the right to have representatives participate in resolving matters that affect them.

After November 1989, Romani organizations and associations could also begin to arise, which they hadn't been able to do before, except during a short period from 1969 to 1973, when the Federation of Gypsies-Roma was in operation. In the first free elections, the first Romani political party, the Romani Civic Initiative, stood candidates for the Parliament of the Czechoslovak Federation, and 11 Romani representatives were sent overall by various political parties.

After the next elections in 1992, the Roma in Parliament dwindled to a single deputy, who was sent by the Left Block. By the beginning of 1994, the Ministry of the Interior had registered over 30 Romani civic associations, two political parties, and one political movement. Most influential of these are the Democratic Federation of Roma, the Romani Civic Initiative, and the Civic Association for Romani Culture and Press.

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